Fishing Licenses for BC

As charted by the Canadian Hydrographic Service, approximately one-third of Canada is underwater. There are more than 20,000km/12,000mi of coastlines, 25,000 lakes and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams here.

In order to be legally allowed to fish in British Columbia, you need to acquire a fishing license.

There are two types of these licenses:

1. Non-Tidal (Freshwater) British Columbia Fishing License;

2. British Columbia Tidal (Saltwater) Sport Fishing License.

Everyone is required to obtain a license in order to be allowed to fish. For anglers aged 16 or younger, the license is free of charge; for others prices vary.

Prices for the Freshwater license:

Freshwater license costs






On September 6, 2007 the BC Government launched a new e-licensing web site at  that allows individuals to purchase and pay online for a Freshwater Fishing License for recreational purposes. You can purchase it here:

Anglers who intend to fish for certain special species must buy a Conservation Species Licence  (also called a Conservation Surcharge ) for each species in addition to the Basic Licence. The special species are Steelhead Trout, Non-Tidal Salmon, Kootenay Lake Rainbow Trout, Shuswap Lake Char, or Shuswap Lake Rainbow Trout. The Conservation Surcharge is valid for the licensing year (April 1st to March 31st). For Non-Residents, the Classified Waters License is sold on a per diem basis and is date and water specific, so if you are a resident, make sure to bring some sort of proof of your immigration status.

Not entirely sure since when, but the Saltwater license is sold online as well:

Prices for the Tidal Waters license for residents:

Tidal license - resident

Prices for the Tidal Waters license for non-residents:

Tidal license - non-resident

A valid B.C. Tidal Waters Sport Fishing License is required to fish or harvest all fish, including shellfish. A maximum of two crab traps or rings (or a combination of both) may be fished by each person in possession of a valid licence. The license must be produced on request by a fishery officer, conservation officer or fishery guardian, so ensure you have your license with you while fishing or transporting your catch. Annual licenses are valid from date shown on the licence to the following March 31. Licenses of a shorter duration expire at midnight on the final day of validity (duh). If you want to fish for the Pacific Salmon, you need to obtain an additional stamp for $6.30 on top of your Tidal Waters License.

You must carry your printed and signed copy of your licence  (not your receipt, I almost got mistaken on that) with you when you are fishing. If your printer doesn’t work or you lose your licence, the system allows you to reprint your licence at no charge.

If you feel uncomfortable getting a license on-line, you can obtain one from any retailer of fishing gear: Wal-Mart, Rona, Canadian Tire. for the same, or very similar price.

Tutorial for Anglers on obtaining a Freshwater Fishing E-Licence

Important restrictions and unlawful actions from Oceans and Fisheries Canada

#tidal license#Vancouver